5 Answers

No summer program that you pay to participate in will afford you any significant benefit in the college application process no matter where it is located.  So, just because you participated in the Summer Superstar program at Phenomenal University - even if you stayed in the residence halls, ate in the cafeteria, met current students and utilized the athletic facilities - your chances of getting in to PU when all is said and done are in no way improved. 

The benefit of having been on the campus for a program is just that; you now know what the facilities are like and can speak with some authority about what living on the PU campus in the summer is like.

Colleges rent their facilities out to companies and organizations in summers.  This is an important revenue stream for many of them, and the fees that you pay to participate in the program are a part of that.

Jon Semcer Points3610
Admission is not influenced by summer programs that the student pays for. The reason is simple- the families that have the resources to spend $3,000 or more to have their son/ daughter travel to Europe, South America or attend a week or two of classes/ social activities at a high profile university should not have an advantage over the student whose family can't provide that extra experience. There are students will attend summer science programs on the campus that is their dream school ,but in the final analysis if the students do not bring sometime extra to the campus or are short on academic achievements, those summer classes have little impact ( do not forget they were paid for). Summer activities should demonstrate a long term interest ,be an extension of your activities during the school year or have a connection to a career goal. Keep in mind that highly selective schools read each application in detail and use a rating scale for transcripts, letters, essays , activities and the alumni interview. Participate in an activity that you are really interested in, some type of activity for personal growth, for character development, commitment to a career goal or servicing your community. I hope these suggestions are helpful. Best wishes to you for this school year. If you need more advice or services please feel free to email me.
There are very few pipeline programs, those directly linked to admissions offices or are highly competitive, of which are usually tuition free and geared towards under-resourced students and special populations. A student's participation in a summer program speaks to what a family can afford in terms of providing an experience for their child. It really doesn't matter which program or what, it matters most how you articulate and present that experience and if it aligns with the values and interest you present in your application.

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